Thursday, December 27, 2012
Stuck at home with a cold...
I'll be honest here. I've spent most of the past couple of days staring at the television. I've got a cold, and that's what I do when I'm too sick to want to do anything else. This has been true since I was very young. In fact, when I was in elementary school, I used to look forward to having a sick day, so I could watch the game shows, back when TV game shows were interesting. Shows like the original "Jeopardy", like "Concentration, like "Password". You had to have a least a little bit of a brain to be able to win these games. This is still true of "Jeopardy", but otherwise I can't think of any game shows that require much brain power.
At least my sick-day television watching is easier in these days of the remote control. I guess I'm giving away my age here, but when I was in elementary school, you had to get up off the couch and switch channels manually. I suppose there were primistive remotes around on some high-end TVs in those days, but I didn't know anyone who had one. Now, all I need to do is aim the remote and click.
So, I've been spending a lot of time aiming and clicking. Not so much on Christmas Day. There was a Doctor Who marathon on, leading up to the new Christmas Special, so that had my attention most of the day. There was also a Who marathon yesterday, but they were all episodes that I've seen recently, so I ventured on to other things, in between trying to cough up a lung.
I tried to catch up on the news yesterday, but most of the programming on MSNBC, which is my punditry of choice these days, was mostly showing "year-in-review" programming. I don't like "year-in-review" shows. The other cable news stations were busy purusing their agendas, which I also wasn't much interested in, and so I moved on to other things. There was a "Castle" marathon on, and I watched a couple of those episodes.
Along the way, the past couple of days, I also watched three episodes of some cable show about conspiracy theories hosted by Jesse Ventura. I like conspiracy theories, even though I don't generally believe in them, and the shows were diverting but ultimately silly. I looked for movies to watch but didn't find much interesting. I thought about catching up on "Dexter" episodes, but decided that I'd have to pay more attention than I was willing or able to summon up, so I didn't do that.
The aforementioned Doctor Who Christmas Special, "The Snowmen", was very good, but again, needed more attention than I was able to give to it, so I'm going to have to watch it again. Same with last night's new episode of "The Hour" - it was good, but I'm going to have to watch again when it comes up on On Demand.
The best thing I saw, though, in the past few days (yes, even better than my illness-addled viewing of "The Snowmen") was last night's broadcast of The Kennedy Center Honors. I usually watch those broadcasts very selectively; the shows can be very good, but the can also be very boring. Last night's was the best one I've ever seen, I think. First of all, Led Zeppelin was honored, which I think is just entirely too cool for words. While I'm not sure that, as Jack Black said when he was introducing the segment honoring the band, Zep is the "best band ever", but if not, they're certainly close. And the other honorees, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, blues guitarist Buddy Guy, and ballet dancer Natalia Makarova were also more than deserving of their accolades.
I especially liked the tribute to Letterman, which was perfect for his slightly off-center persona. Tina Fey's introduction to the tribute was one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time. The ballet in tribute to Makarova was beautiful. I didn't get to see most of the tribute to Hoffman - I was having an extended coughing fit. What I did see was very nice.
The highlights of the night, though were the musical tributes to Zeppelin and to Buddy Guy. Both were brilliant. I especially liked that Jason Bonham, Zepplin drummer John Bohnam, was part of the festivities, and that Ann and Nancy Wilson tackled, and pretty muchy owned "Stairway to Heaven".
But the best thing? The very best thing? That was a quick glimpse of US President Barack Obama singing along to "Whole Lotta Love". Yes, I know. There are many things that are much more important things for a president to know. But somehow, it was just a beautiful thing to see.
Maybe it was just my cold-addled mind, but I really liked that.
Oh, and just a note: I'm feeling better today, but still not well enough to proofread this. So, if you find any typos or other errors, you get two Internet points. But if you do find errors, I don't want to know about them.